The New York Islanders and captain Anders Lee are talking about a long-term contract extension according to a report. It’s going to happen and I can’t wait.
Negotiations between Anders Lee’s agent, Neil Sheehy and the Islanders (Lou Lamoriello) have been ongoing for almost a month now according to Pagnotta’s report.
Which is outstanding on a number of fronts. None more important than getting a deal done and signed well before Anders Lee is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Being this advanced in the negotiations bodes well.
What About Term and Dollars?
According to Pagnotta’s sources, the New York Islanders and Lee are looking at a six or seven-year contract extension. A deal that would keep Lee in an Isles sweater until he turns 36 years old.
There’s no worry about paying Lee big money now, he’s worth it. But what about when he hits 33 and there’s still another two to three years on that deal?
Pagnotta believes that the New York Islanders don’t want to go above $6.5 million for Lee. But when you see that James van Riemsdyk got $7 million for fives years in free agency you have to believe that $6.5 million line is a negotiation tactic.
James van Riemsdyk plays a similar style of game as Lee, but JVR has only eclipsed the 30 goal mark once over the last four seasons. Lee has done it twice and is on pace to do it again this season.
With eleven goals in 28 games, Lee is on pace for 32 goals this season and 106 over the last three seasons. Lee is absolutely worth $7 million per season.
Not a Shock
The notion that Lee and the Islanders are talking shouldn’t come as a surprise. After naming him the team’s 15th captain you knew they wouldn’t let him leave in free agency. Signing their captain well before he reaches free agency will be a hallmark moment for this new regime.
With the way John Tavares left, the Islanders franchise (from ownership to management) want to show their commitment to its players, fans, and the NHL as a whole. Getting Lee signed would signal that this team won’t be a revolving door, the teams best players will be retained and paid, and that players want to stay.
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This contract extension with Anders Lee will be done. It’s going to be for long-term and for big money. With the way the Isles last captain left, it’s going to be a great new moment for this franchise.